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October 26, 2011

Favorite Asia Cruises

By Departures Dispatch | Travel

cruise ship
Illustration by Jason Lee

Five Asia cruise itineraries that cater to the sailing specialist as well as the tyro.

Starting in Bangkok and ending 25 days later in Beijing,
Oceania Cruises
Imperial Interludes winds its way across the China Sea—both the South and East—to the Yellow Sea. It’s a perfect Pan-Asian tour, with generous two-day stops at Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Trip starts at $6,000; departs February 28; oceaniacruises.com.

From pagodas to skyscrapers,
Crystal Cruises’ 16-day Temples and Dynasties

tour, aboard the 1,070-passenger
Crystal Serenity, visits ports both large—it starts in Singapore and ends in Hong Kong, with stops in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok—and small. A call in Chan May, Vietnam, offers exploration of Hue, the country’s beautiful dynastic capital. Trip starts at $12,060; departs February 26; crystalcruises.com.

Celebrity Cruises plies Southeast Asia’s old trade routes in two late-year itineraries. Aboard the
Celebrity Millennium, the 2,034-guest ship that will be dry-docked in early 2012 for a massive renovation, passengers can start in Singapore and head north to Hong Kong or catch the southbound cruise. Both itineraries stop in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Trips start at $1,600; depart in December; celebritycruises.com.

From Asia to the antipodes,
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers a 17-night journey starting in Singapore, skimming Bali, then curving across the Timor Sea to Australia’s eastern coast. The voyage—aboard the appropriately named all-suite ship
Voyager—ends in Sydney, with equal time devoted to both continents’ destinations.
Trip starts at $11,300; departs January 6; rssc.com.

For those who prefer their journeys directed by sports,
Azamara Club Cruises offers golf-centric trips that jump from green to green across Asia. But even its non-putting itineraries, like a late-2012 jaunt from Singapore to Hong Kong, offer plenty of time to find fairways in Bangkok (three nights) and Ho Chi Minh City (another three).
Trips start at $4,000; departs December 23; azamaraclubcruises.com.